MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins Foundation and team owner Stephen Ross are stepping up to help families in need keep food on their tables.
Starting June 1, the newly formed Miami Dolphins Food Relief Program, will provide a minimum of 1,000 meals each weekday out of Hard Rock Stadium.
The food, prepared by Centerplate, the team’s food, beverage and retail partner, will be available to families in need in Miami Gardens through a voucher system for up to a 12-month period.
On Sundays, the Dolphins will work with area churches, local leadership, and community groups to purchase food from local restaurants to provide a minimum of 1,000 meals each Sunday to be distributed to those dealing with food insecurity.
The program will create jobs and revenue for the local restaurant industry, while employing guest services and security staff at the stadium that have been idled as a result of COVID-19-related event cancellations.
Stephen Ross and the organization will invest $2 million in the Miami Dolphins Foundation Food Relief Program and will work to raise an additional $1 million by matching all dollars raised by the South Florida community and Miami Dolphins fans worldwide for a potential $4 million total impact. I
Individuals and businesses that wish to participate in the match program can donate online at dolphins.com/meals. All gifts are tax-deductible with 100% of the funds raised directly benefiting food relief. All donors over $50 will receive a special Miami Dolphins FOOTBALL UNITES™ gift from Ross and Vice Chairman and CEO Tom Garfinkel in appreciation of their participation in this matching campaign.
“We are committed to combating food insecurity and helping to provide consistent employment as the first step in rebuilding our community, starting in Miami Gardens,” said Ross. “We are thankful for the strength that our community has shown through this pandemic and it’s our hope that this program will inspire others to give.”
“Unemployment is growing and a lot of people are suffering and need help,” said Garfinkel. “It was important for us to start at home and help the most vulnerable in our community with a long-term commitment; not just a one-time event.”
“I commend the Miami Dolphins Foundation, owner Stephen Ross and CEO Tom Garfinkel for their commitment to the residents of our community,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “They have set a high standard for others to follow as we all work together to provide food and jobs for those hit hardest by this pandemic.”
“Given the uncertainty of this crisis, all hands should be on deck, and all available resources tapped,” said Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert. “The Miami Dolphins organization is stepping up and providing needed support for our Residents as we continue to fight against COVID-19.”